Cottonwood Snow

A fluff of snow on a broken reed

I thought again how certain cultures have hundreds of words for snow.  If I were to name the snow that covered the farm in a thick airy fluff, I’d call it Cottonwood Snow.

I’ve never seen snow like it.  Or maybe it’s just that it’s only in the past couple of years I’ve become aware that there are many different kinds of snow.

It was too light to shovel, so I swept it off the back porch.

As I walked further from the house towards the woods, I saw it cradled in the crook of every tree. Clumps of it clung like velcro, on the moss and lichen growing on bark. It sat in a round cluster on a bent reed in the marsh.

It looked so familiar to me, but I couldn’t think of what it reminded me of.  Until I walked the deer trail in the woods, past the cottonwood tree.  Then it came to me, how in the spring the ground is covered in trailing seeds from the cottonwood and I always think it looks like snow.

close up of the cottonwood snow

The snow fell in soft clumps, not individual flakes.  All together like that,  they looked like they had darker centers and spines reaching out to create a sphere. But up close, they looked like those photographs of snowflakes that Wilson Bentley took in the late 1880s.

This morning I woke up seeing the image of a cattail going to seed.   The cattail looked as if it was exploding in slow motion.  The seeds billowing out of the cigar-shaped catkin, waiting for the wind to help them along.  I thought of how late last summer cattail seeds covered the branches of the apple tree in a light fur.

Seeds like snow I’ve thought of before, but never snow like seeds.

10 thoughts on “Cottonwood Snow

  1. Amazing how every place seems to have its own snow. That snow is amazing. Only rarely have I seen snow flakes that look like the snowflakes we draw. Yours seem to have clumps of them. In Oregon,and occasionally here we get popcorn snow. Today I’m seeing clumps of snow but not like yours.

  2. Another wow Maria, never saw anything like this. Beautiful photos and I will be paying more attention to different kinds of snow.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Full Moon Fiber Art